September 24, 2002, 12:00 AM

As e-mail volume rises, so does the bounce-back rate, survey finds

With 12.6% of all marketing e-mail and 11.8% of retail e-mail nondeliverable in Q2, marketers must clean up lists, says DoubleClick.


The volume of e-mail received by consumers is up, and so is the rate of nondeliverable mail that bounces back to commercial senders. According to a second-quarter survey from DoubleClick Inc., the bounce-back rate on marketing e-mail in Q2 was an at all-time high of 12.6%, compared to 7.7% in Q3 2001. “Marketers and publishers should continue to place emphasis on list hygiene to maintain performance,” says Genevieve Mallgrave, vice president and general manager, Direct Marketer, at DoubleClick.

Among retailers and catalogers the bounce-back rate of non-deliverable mail was 11.8%, and the click-through rate on delivered e-mails was 7.7%. For every 1,000 e-mails sent approximately 3 consumers made a purchase, with an average order size of $101.55. The survey determined that the click-through rate on the total number of e-mails from retailers or catalogs was 6.1% in the quarter, among the lower click-through rates in the industries tracked. Higher rates were achieved by consumer products and services at 9.4%, publisher-consumer audience sector at 9.1%, travel at 8.4% and business products and services at 7.5%.

HTML e-mails generate response rates 1.2-1.7 times higher than text mails across all industries, the survey found, while Tuesdays generate a higher volume of marketing e-mail than any other day of the week with nearly 24% of marketing e-mail sent that day. Wednesday follows at nearly 23%, while mail volume drops significantly over the weekend: only 1.5% of e-mails go out on Saturdays at 1.7% on Sundays.

“The data indicate that e-mail volume continues to grow, and as a result, marketers need to do more testing to ensure that they have the most compelling offer,” says Mallgrave.

Data come from DoubleClick’s Dartmail e-mail marketing system and is based on mailings in the second quarter.


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